In an opinion column in the Houston Chronicle, EHF’s Elena Marks says while the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, the health insurance situation of today is preferable to the ghosts of Christmas past.
The magnitude of the disaster forced philanthropies to learn quickly how to navigate complex public/private relief systems, flatten grantmaking processes, and work across sectors to identify and uphold nonprofits that provided relief for individuals and families, and to build the capacity of others that had the trust and knowledge of hard-to-reach communities such as immigrant and undocumented neighborhoods.
Medical care can help treat the symptoms, but medical care alone wasn’t the key to improving the nail workers’ health. Instead, the solution required addressing the root causes of their problems. That’s why we embarked on an effort to use our experience and influence to improve the working conditions that were having a direct impact on the health of these women.
If we change the conversation and become focused on the importance of health, not just healthcare, we can save money and improve health outcomes.
Poverty and food insecurity are “just as worthy of our attention as headaches, diabetes and asthma” says Dr. Pritesh Gandhi at People’s Community Clinic in Austin. Read about his work with EHF’s $10 million Texas Community Centered Health Homes Initiative.
Health care is a means to an end, and health is that end. There is no inherent value in health care, apart from its impact on health. Because we talk about health care as if it were the same as health, we miss out on opportunities to improve health that fall outside of the health care paradigm. We’re so worried about health care costs that we’ve forgotten to look at health.